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January 20, 2020

Chelsea FC formally adopts the IHRA working definition of antisemitism

(left to right) Buck, Mann, Lampard, Dr. Meyer
Chelsea FC have announced that the club will officially adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, becoming the first sports team in the world to do so.

Under the leadership of Roman Abramovich, the club launched the ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign in January 2018, which aims to tackle racism and discrimination on the pitch, in the stands and in wider society. Once adopted, Chelsea will ensure stewards and supporters are fully informed of the working definition, its importance and what to do if they witness antisemitism.

Chelsea FC Chairman Bruce Buck said:

“We believe that adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism is an important statement for our football club. Although we have been working in accordance with these guidelines for many years now, we hope that by formalising the IHRA classification, we can further tackle antisemitism and discrimination through better understanding and education.

“Football has an unrivalled ability to do good in society, and we must harness this power to tackle all forms of discrimination in the stands and our communities.”

The IHRA working definition states that: “antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Having been adopted by the IHRA in 2016, this definition has now been adopted or endorsed by 18 countries, including the UK, at a time when antisemitism is on the rise around the world.

Dr. Kathrin Meyer, IHRA Executive Secretary, said:

“The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance commends Chelsea’s decision to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. Football is such a critical part of communities around the world, bringing hundreds of millions of people together. Given the significance of football, it is vital that clubs like Chelsea, that are a role model for so many, demonstrate their commitment to fighting antisemitism so that football continues to be a source of enjoyment and pride, not exclusion and hatred. We look forward to working with more football clubs and sporting organisations around the world as they join us in our fight against antisemitism.”

Lord John Mann, the Government's Independent Advisor on Antisemitism said:

"This is now the agreed working definition of antisemitism across the world. Chelsea Football Club are to be congratulated for taking the lead by being the first Football Club in the World to adopt it. I expect that many more will now want to follow suit".

Chelsea FC Chairman Bruce Buck continued:

“The ‘Say No to Antisemitism campaign is focussed on combatting discrimination, not just at Stamford Bridge but also in our communities. Led by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, we are determined to do all we can to create meaningful change on this issue.

“There is still a long way to go, but the fight against antisemitism is one that we believe is necessary. There can be no place in our game or our societies for antisemitism or any form of discrimination and we are proud to encourage those around us to join this vital cause.”

Source: Arutz Sheva